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Poetry Anthology The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) English Literature Poetry Anthology should be used to prepare for Component 2 of your assessment

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    Poetry Anthology

    The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) English Literature Poetry Anthology should be used to prepare for Component 2 of your assessment

  • PearsonEdexcel GCSE (9-1)English LiteraturePoetry Anthology

    The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1) English Literature Poetry Anthology should be used to prepare students for assessment in:Component 2 (1ET0/02) of the Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in English Literature (1ET0)

  • Published by Pearson Education Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales, having its registered office at Edinburgh Gate, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2JE. Registered company number: 872828

    Edexcel is a registered trade mark of Edexcel Limited

    © Pearson Education Limited 2014

    First published 2014

    17 16 15 14

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

    A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 9781446913451

    Copyright notice

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means (including photocopying or storing it in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other use of this publication) without the written permission of the copyright owner, except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6–10 Kirby Street, London, EC1N 8TS (www.cla.co.uk). Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission should be addressed to the publisher.

    Printed in the UK by ESP Colour

    See page 60 for acknowledgements.

  • Collection A: Relationships 5

    Collection B: Conflict 23

    Collection C: Time and Place 41


  • Collection A

    La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1819) 6John KeatsA Child to his Sick Grandfather (1790) 7Joanna Baillie She Walks in Beauty (1814) 8Lord Byron A Complaint (1807) 9William WordsworthNeutral Tones (1898) 10Thomas Hardy Sonnet 43 (1850) 11Elizabeth Barrett Browning My Last Duchess (1842) 12Robert Browning 1st Date – She and 1st Date – He (2011) 14Wendy Cope

    Valentine (1993) 15Carol Ann Du� y One Flesh (1966) 16Elizabeth Jennings i wanna be yours (1983) 17John Cooper Clarke Love’s Dog (2008) 18Jen Hadfi eld Nettles (1980) 19Vernon Scannell The Manhunt (2008) 20Simon Armitage My Father Would Not Show Us (1988) 21Ingrid de Kok


  • 666

    La Belle Dame Sans Merci

    O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

    Alone and palely loitering?

    The sedge has withered from the lake,

    And no birds sing.

    5 O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,

    So haggard and so woe-begone?

    The squirrel’s granary is full,

    And the harvest’s done.

    I see a lily on thy brow,

    10 With anguish moist and fever-dew,

    And on thy cheek a fading rose

    Fast withereth too.

    I met a lady in the meads,

    Full beautiful – a faery’s child,

    15 Her hair was long, her foot was light,

    And her eyes were wild.

    I made a garland for her head,

    And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;

    She looked at me as she did love,

    20 And made sweet moan.

    I set her on my pacing steed,

    And nothing else saw all day long,

    For sidelong would she bend, and sing

    A faery’s song.

    25 She found me roots of relish sweet,

    And honey wild, and manna-dew,

    And sure in language strange she said –

    ‘I love thee true’.

    She took me to her elfi n grot,

    30 And there she wept and sighed full sore,

    And there I shut her wild wild eyes

    With kisses four.

    And there she lulled me asleep

    And there I dreamed – Ah! woe betide! –

    35 The latest dream I ever dreamt

    On the cold hill side.

    I saw pale kings, and princes too,

    Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;

    They cried – ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci

    40 Thee hath in thrall!’

    I saw their starved lips in the gloam,

    With horrid warning gapèd wide,

    And I awoke and found me here,

    On the cold hill’s side.

    45 And this is why I sojourn here

    Alone and palely loitering,

    Though the sedge is withered from the lake,

    And no birds sing.

    John Keats


  • Collection A

    A Child to his Sick Grandfather

    Grand-dad, they say you’re old and frail,

    Your stocked legs begin to fail:

    Your knobbed stick (that was my horse)

    Can scarce support your bended corse,

    5 While back to wall, you lean so sad,

    I’m vexed to see you, dad.

    You used to smile and stroke my head,

    And tell me how good children did;

    But now, I wot not how it be,

    10 You take me seldom on your knee,

    Yet ne’ertheless I am right glad,

    To sit beside you, dad.

    How lank and thin your beard hangs down!

    Scant are the white hairs on your crown;

    15 How wan and hollow are your cheeks!

    Your brow is rough with crossing breaks;

    But yet, for all his strength be fl ed,

    I love my own old dad.

    The housewives round their potions brew,

    20 And gossips come to ask for you;

    And for your weal each neighbour cares,

    And good men kneel, and say their prayers;

    And everybody looks so sad,

    When you are ailing, dad.

    25 You will not die and leave us then?

    Rouse up and be our dad again.

    When you are quiet and laid in bed,

    We’ll doff our shoes and softly tread;

    And when you wake we’ll aye be near

    30 To fi ll old dad his cheer.

    When through the house you shift your stand,

    I’ll lead you kindly by the hand;

    When dinner’s set I’ll with you bide,

    And aye be serving at your side;

    35 And when the weary fi re turns blue,

    I’ll sit and talk with you.

    I have a tale both long and good,

    About a partlet and her brood,

    And cunning greedy fox that stole

    40 By dead of midnight through a hole,

    Which slyly to the hen-roost led –

    You love a story, dad?

    And then I have a wondrous tale

    Of men all clad in coats of mail,

    45 With glittering swords – you nod, I think?

    Your fi xed eyes begin to wink;

    Down on your bosom sinks your head –

    You do not hear me, dad.

    Joanna Baillie


  • 888888

    She Walks in Beauty

    She walks in beauty, like the night

    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

    And all that’s best of dark and bright

    Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

    5 Thus mellow’d to that tender light

    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,

    Had half impair’d the nameless grace

    Which waves in every raven tress,

    10 Or softly lightens o’er her face;

    Where thoughts serenely sweet express

    How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

    15 The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

    But tell of days in goodness spent,

    A mind at peace with all below,

    A heart whose love is innocent!

    Lord Byron


  • Collection A


    A Complaint

    There is a change—and I am poor;

    Your love hath been, nor long ago,

    A fountain at my fond heart’s door,

    Whose only business was to fl ow;

    5 And fl ow it did; not taking heed

    Of its own bounty, or my need.

    What happy moments did I count!

    Blest was I then all bliss above!

    Now, for that consecrated fount

    10 Of murmuring, sparkling, living love,

    What have I? shall I dare to tell?

    A comfortless and hidden well.

    A well of love—it may be deep—

    I trust it is,—and never dry:

    15 What matter? if the waters sleep

    In silence and obscurity.

    —Such change, and at the very door

    Of my fond heart, hath made me poor.

    William Wordsworth


  • 10

    Neutral Tones

    We stood by a pond that winter day,

    And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,

    And a few leaves lay on the starving sod;

    – They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

    5 Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove

    Over tedious riddles of years ago;

    And some words played between us to and fro

    On which lost the more by our love.

    The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing

    10 Alive enough to have strength to die;

    And a grin of bitterness swept thereby

    Like an ominous bird a-wing…

    Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,

    And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me

    15 Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,

    And a pond edged with grayish leaves.

    Thomas Hardy


  • Collection A

    Sonnet 43

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! –

    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

    For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace.

    5 I love thee to the level of everyday’s

    Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight –

    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right, –

    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;

    I love thee with the passion, put to use

    10 In my old griefs, … and with my childhood’s faith:

    I love thee with the love I seemed to lose

    With my lost Saints, – I love thee with the breath,

    Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,

    I shall but love thee better after death.

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning


  • 12

    My Last DuchessFerrara

    That’s my last duchess painted on the wall,

    Looking as if she were alive. I call

    That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands

    Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

    5 Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said

    ‘Frà Pandolf ’ by design, for never read

    Strangers like you that pictured countenance,

    The depth and passion of its earnest glance,

    But to myself they turned (since none puts by

    10 The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)

    And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,

    How such a glance came there; so, not the fi rst

    Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not

    Her husband’s presence only, called that spot

    15 Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps

    Frà Pandolf chanced to say ‘Her mantle laps

    Over my lady’s wrist too much,’ or ‘Paint

    Must never hope to reproduce the faint

    Half-fl ush that dies along her throat’: such stuff

    20 Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough

    For calling up that spot of joy. She had

    A heart–how shall I say?–too soon made glad,

    Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er

    She looked on, and her looks went everywhere.

    25 Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast,

    The dropping of the daylight in the West,

    The bough of cherries some offi cious fool

    Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule

    She rode with round the terrace–all and each

  • Collection A


    30 Would draw from her alike the approving speech,

    Or blush, at least. She thanked men–good! but thanked

    Somehow–I know not how–as if she ranked

    My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name

    With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame

    35 This sort of trifl ing? Even had you skill

    In speech–which I have not–to make your will

    Quite clear to such a one, and say, ‘Just this

    Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss,

    Or there exceed the mark’–and if she let

    40 Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set

    Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse

    –E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose

    Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt

    Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without

    45 Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands;

    Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands

    As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet

    The company below, then. I repeat,

    The Count your master’s known munifi cence

    50 Is ample warrant that no just pretense

    Of mine for dowry will be disallowed;

    Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed

    At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go

    Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though,

    55 Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity,

    Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!

    Robert Browning

  • 14

    1st Date – She

    I said I liked classical music.

    It wasn’t exactly a lie.

    I hoped he would get the impression

    That my brow was acceptably high.

    5 I said I liked classical music.

    I mentioned Vivaldi and Bach.

    And he asked me along to this concert.

    Here we are, sitting in the half-dark.

    I was thrilled to be asked to the concert.

    10 I couldn’t care less what they play

    But I’m trying my hardest to listen

    So I’ll have something clever to say.

    When I glance at his face it’s a picture

    Of rapt concentration. I see

    15 He is totally into this music

    And quite undistracted by me.

    1st Date – He

    She said she liked classical music.

    I implied I was keen on it too.

    Though I don’t often go to a concert,

    It wasn’t entirely untrue.

    5 I looked for a suitable concert

    And here we are, on our fi rst date.

    The traffi c was dreadful this evening

    And I arrived ten minutes late.

    So we haven’t had much time for talking

    10 And I’m a bit nervous. I see

    She is totally lost in the music

    And quite undistracted by me.

    In that dress she is very attractive –

    The neckline can’t fail to intrigue.

    15 I mustn’t appear too besotted.

    Perhaps she is out of my league.

    Where are we? I glance at the programme

    But I’ve put my glasses away.

    I’d better start paying attention

    20 Or else I’ll have nothing to say.

    Wendy Cope

  • Valentine, by Carol Ann Duffy This poem is unavailable online due to copyright restrictions. For a full version of this poem, please refer to your printed copy of your Pearson Edexcel GCSE English Literature Poetry Anthology.

  • 16

    One Flesh

    Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,

    He with a book, keeping the light on late,

    She like a girl dreaming of childhood,

    All men elsewhere – it is as if they wait

    5 Some new event: the book he holds unread,

    Her eyes fi xed on the shadows overhead.

    Tossed up like fl otsam from a former passion,

    How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,

    Or if they do it is like a confession

    10 Of having little feeling – or too much.

    Chastity faces them, a destination

    For which their whole lives were a preparation.

    Strangely apart, yet strangely close together,

    Silence between them like a thread to hold

    15 And not wind in. And time itself ’s a feather

    Touching them gently. Do they know they’re old,

    These two who are my father and my mother

    Whose fi re from which I came, has now grown cold?

    Elizabeth Jennings

  • Collection A


    i wanna be yours

    let me be your vacuum cleaner

    breathing in your dust

    let me be your ford cortina

    i will never rust

    5 if you like your coffee hot

    let me be your coffee pot

    you call the shots

    i wanna be yours

    let me be your raincoat

    10 for those frequent rainy days

    let me be your dreamboat

    when you wanna sail away

    let me be your teddy bear

    take me with you anywhere

    15 i don’t care

    i wanna be yours

    let me be your electric meter

    i will not run out

    let me be the electric heater

    20 you get cold without

    let me be your setting lotion

    hold your hair

    with deep devotion

    deep as the deep

    25 atlantic ocean

    that’s how deep is my emotion

    deep deep deep deep de deep deep

    i don’t wanna be hers

    i wanna be yours

    John Cooper Clarke

  • 18

    Love’s Dog

    What I love about love is its diagnosis

    What I hate about love is its prognosis

    What I hate about love is its me me me 

    What I love about love is its Eat-me/Drink-me

    5 What I love about love is its petting zoo

    What I love about love is its zookeeper – you

    What I love about love is its truth serum

    What I hate about love is its shrinking potion

    What I love about love is its doubloons

    10 What I love about love is its bird-bones

    What I hate about love is its boil-wash

    What I love about love is its spin-cycle

    What I loathe about love is its burnt toast and bonemeal

    What I hate about love is its bent cigarette

    15 What I love about love is its pirate

    What I hate about love is its sick parrot

    Jen Hadfi eld


  • Collection A



    My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.

    ‘Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spears,

    That regiment of spite behind the shed:

    It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears

    5 The boy came seeking comfort and I saw

    White blisters beaded on his tender skin.

    We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.

    At last he offered us a watery grin,

    And then I took my billhook, honed the blade

    10 And went outside and slashed in fury with it

    Till not a nettle in that fi erce parade

    Stood upright any more. And then I lit

    A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,

    But in two weeks the busy sun and rain

    15 Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:

    My son would often feel sharp wounds again.

    Vernon Scannell

  • 20

    The Manhunt

    After the fi rst phase,

    after passionate nights and intimate days,

    only then would he let me trace

    the frozen river which ran through his face,

    5 only then would he let me explore

    the blown hinge of his lower jaw,

    and handle and hold

    the damaged, porcelain collar-bone,

    and mind and attend

    10 the fractured rudder of shoulder-blade,

    and fi nger and thumb

    the parachute silk of his punctured lung.

    Only then could I bind the struts

    and climb the rungs of his broken ribs,

    15 and feel the hurt

    of his grazed heart.

    Skirting along,

    only then could I picture the scan,

    the foetus of metal beneath his chest

    20 where the bullet had fi nally come to rest.

    Then I widened the search,

    traced the scarring back to its source

    to a sweating, unexploded mine

    buried deep in his mind, around which

    25 every nerve in his body had tightened and closed.

    Then, and only then, did I come close.

    Simon Armitage

  • Collection A


    My Father Would Not Show UsWhich way do we face to talk to the dead?

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    My father’s face

    fi ve days dead

    is organised for me to see.

    It’s cold in here

    5 and the borrowed coffi n gleams unnaturally;

    the pine one has not yet been delivered.

    Half-expected this inverted face

    but not the soft, for some reason

    unfrozen collar of his striped pyjamas.

    10 This is the last time I am allowed

    to remember my childhood as it might have been:

    a louder, braver place,

    crowded, a house with a tin roof

    being hailed upon, and voices rising,

    15 my father’s wry smile, his half-turned face.

    My father would not show us how to die.

    He hid, he hid away.

    Behind the curtains where his life had been,

    the fl orist’s fl owers curling into spring,

    20 he lay inside, he lay.

    He could recall the rag-and-bone man

    passing his mother’s gate in the morning light.

    Now the tunnelling sound of the dogs next door;

    everything he hears is white.

    25 My father could not show us how to die.

    He turned, he turned away.

    Under the counterpane, without one call

    or word or name,

    face to the wall, he lay.

    Ingrid de Kok

  • A Poison Tree (1794) 24William BlakeThe Destruction of Sennacherib (1815) 25Lord ByronExtract from The Prelude (1850) 26William Wordsworth The Man He Killed (1902) 27Thomas Hardy Cousin Kate (1860) 28Christina Rossetti Half-caste (1996) 29John AgardExposure (1917) 30Wilfred Owen The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854) 32Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    Catrin (1978) 34Gillian ClarkeWar Photographer (1987) 35Carole SatyamurtiBelfast Confetti (1990) 36Ciaran CarsonThe Class Game (1981) 37Mary CaseyPoppies (2005) 38Jane WeirNo Problem (1996) 39Benjamin Zephaniah What Were They Like? (1967) 40Denise Levertov

    Collection B


  • A Poison Tree

    I was angry with my friend:

    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.

    I was angry with my foe:

    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    5 And I water’d it in fears,

    Night and morning with my tears;

    And I sunned it with smiles,

    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night,

    10 Till it bore an apple bright;

    And my foe beheld it shine,

    And he knew that it was mine,

    And into my garden stole

    When the night had veil’d the pole:

    15 In the morning glad I see

    My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.

    William Blake


  • Collection B


    The Destruction of Sennacherib

    The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

    And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

    And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

    When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

    5 Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,

    That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

    Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,

    That host on the morrow lay wither’d and strown.

    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

    10 And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass’d;

    And the eyes of the sleepers wax’d deadly and chill,

    And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

    And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,

    But through it there roll’d not the breath of his pride:

    15 And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

    And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

    And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

    With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;

    And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,

    20 The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

    And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,

    And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;

    And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,

    Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

    Lord Byron

  • 26

    Extract from The Prelude

    One summer evening (led by her) I found

    A little boat tied to a willow tree

    Within a rocky cove, its usual home.

    Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in

    5 Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth

    And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice

    Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on;

    Leaving behind her still, on either side,

    Small circles glittering idly in the moon,

    10 Until they melted all into one track

    Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows,

    Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point

    With an unswerving line, I � xed my view

    Upon the summit of a craggy ridge,

    15 The horizon’s utmost boundary; far above

    Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.

    She was an el� n pinnace; lustily

    I dipped my oars into the silent lake,

    And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat

    20 Went heaving through the water like a swan;

    When, from behind that craggy steep till then

    The horizon’s bound, a huge peak, black and huge,

    As if with voluntary power instinct,

    Upreared its head. I struck and struck again,

    25 And growing still in stature the grim shape

    Towered up between me and the stars, and still,

    For so it seemed, with purpose of its own

    And measured motion like a living thing,

    Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,

    30 And through the silent water stole my way

    Back to the covert of the willow tree;

    There in her mooring-place I left my bark, –

    And through the meadows homeward went, in grave

    And serious mood; but after I had seen

    35 That spectacle, for many days, my brain

    Worked with a dim and undetermined sense

    Of unknown modes of being; o’er my thoughts

    There hung a darkness, call it solitude

    Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes

    40 Remained, no pleasant images of trees,

    Of sea or sky, no colours of green � elds;

    But huge and mighty forms, that do not live

    Like living men, moved slowly through the mind

    By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.

    William Wordsworth

  • Collection B

    The Man He Killed

    ‘Had he and I but met

    By some old ancient inn,

    We should have sat us down to wet

    Right many a nipperkin!

    5 ‘But ranged as infantry,

    And staring face to face,

    I shot at him as he at me,

    And killed him in his place.

    ‘I shot him dead because –

    10 Because he was my foe,

    Just so: my foe of course he was;

    That’s clear enough; although

    ‘He thought he’d ’list, perhaps,

    Off-hand like – just as I –

    15 Was out of work – had sold his traps –

    No other reason why.

    ‘Yes; quaint and curious war is!

    You shoot a fellow down

    You’d treat if met where any bar is,

    20 Or help to half-a-crown.’

    Thomas Hardy


  • 28

    Cousin Kate

    I was a cottage-maiden

    Hardened by sun and air,

    Contented with my cottage-mates,

    Not mindful I was fair.

    5 Why did a great lord � nd me out

    And praise my � axen hair?

    Why did a great lord � nd me out

    To � ll my heart with care?

    He lured me to his palace-home –

    10 Woe’s me for joy thereof –

    To lead a shameless shameful life,

    His plaything and his love.

    He wore me like a golden knot,

    He changed me like a glove:

    15 So now I moan an unclean thing

    Who might have been a dove.

    O Lady Kate, my Cousin Kate,

    You grow more fair than I:

    He saw you at your father’s gate,

    20 Chose you and cast me by.

    He watched your steps along the lane,

    Your sport among the rye:

    He lifted you from mean estate

    To sit with him on high.

    25 Because you were so good and pure

    He bound you with his ring:

    The neighbours call you good and pure,

    Call me an outcast thing.

    Even so I sit and howl in dust

    30 You sit in gold and sing:

    Now which of us has tenderer heart?

    You had the stronger wing.

    O Cousin Kate, my love was true,

    Your love was writ in sand:

    35 If he had fooled not me but you,

    If you stood where I stand,

    He had not won me with his love

    Nor bought me with his land:

    I would have spit into his face

    40 And not have taken his hand.

    Yet I’ve a gift you have not got

    And seem not like to get:

    For all your clothes and wedding-ring

    I’ve little doubt you fret.

    45 My fair-haired son, my shame, my pride,

    Cling closer, closer yet:

    Your sire would give broad lands for one

    To wear his coronet.

    Christina Rossetti

  • Collection B


    Excuse me

    standing on one leg

    I’m half-caste

    Explain yuself

    5 wha yu mean

    when you say half-caste

    yu mean when picasso

    mix red an green

    is a half-caste canvas/

    10 explain yuself

    wha yu mean

    when yu say half-caste

    yu mean when light an shadow

    mix in de sky

    15 is a half-caste weather/

    well in dat case

    england weather

    nearly always half-caste

    in fact some o dem cloud

    20 half-caste till dem overcast

    so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass

    ah rass/

    explain yuself

    wha yu mean

    25 when you say half-caste

    yu mean tchaikovsky

    sit down at dah piano

    an mix a black key

    wid a white key

    30 is a half-caste symphony/

    Explain yuself

    wha yu mean

    Ah listening to yu wid de keen

    half of mih ear

    35 Ah lookin at yu wid de keen

    half of mih eye

    and when I’m introduced to yu

    I’m sure you’ll understand

    why I offer yu half-a-hand

    40 an when I sleep at night

    I close half-a-eye

    consequently when I dream

    I dream half-a-dream

    an when moon begin to glow

    45 I half-caste human being

    cast half-a-shadow

    but yu must come back tomorrow

    wid de whole of yu eye

    an de whole of yu ear

    50 an de whole of yu mind

    an I will tell yu

    de other half

    of my story

    John Agard


  • 30


    Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive us…

    Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent…

    Low, drooping � ares confuse our memories of the salient…

    Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous,

    5 But nothing happens.

    Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,

    Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.

    Northward, incessantly, the � ickering gunnery rumbles,

    Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war.

    10 What are we doing here?

    The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow…

    We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy.

    Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army

    Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of grey,

    15 But nothing happens.

    Sudden successive � ights of bullets streak the silence.

    Less deadly than the air that shudders black with snow,

    With sidelong � owing � akes that � ock, pause, and renew,

    We watch them wandering up and down the wind’s nonchalance,

    20 But nothing happens.

    Pale � akes with � ngering stealth come feeling for our faces –

    We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow-


    Deep into grassier ditches. So we drowse, sun-dozed,

    Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses.

    25 Is it that we are dying?

  • Collection B


    Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk � res, glozed

    With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there;

    For hours the innocent mice rejoice: The house is theirs;

    Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed, –

    30 We turn back to our dying.

    Since we believe not otherwise can kind � res burn;

    Nor ever suns smile true on child, or � eld, or fruit.

    For God’s invincible spring our love is made afraid;

    Therefore, not loath, we lie out here; therefore were born,

    35 For love of God seems dying.

    Tonight, His frost will fasten on this mud and us,

    Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp.

    The burying party, picks and shovels in the shaking grasp,

    Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice,

    40 But nothing happens.

    Wilfred Owen

  • 32

    The Charge of the Light Brigade

    Half a league, half a league,

    Half a league onward,

    All in the valley of Death

    Rode the six hundred.

    5 ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!

    Charge for the guns!’ he said:

    Into the valley of Death

    Rode the six hundred.

    ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’

    10 Was there a man dismay’d?

    Not tho’ the soldier knew

    Some one had blunder’d:

    Their’s not to make reply,

    Their’s not to reason why,

    15 Their’s but to do and die:

    Into the valley of Death

    Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,

    Cannon to left of them,

    20 Cannon in front of them

    Volley’d and thunder’d;

    Storm’d at with shot and shell,

    Boldly they rode and well,

    Into the jaws of Death,

    25 Into the mouth of Hell

    Rode the six hundred.

    Flash’d all their sabres bare,

    Flash’d as they turn’d in air

    Sabring the gunners there,

  • Collection B


    30 Charging an army, while

    All the world wonder’d:

    Plunged in the battery smoke

    Right thro’ the line they broke;

    Cossack and Russian

    35 Reel’d from the sabre-stroke

    Shatter’d and sunder’d

    Then they rode back, but not

    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,

    40 Cannon to left of them,

    Cannon behind them

    Volley’d and thunder’d;

    Storm’d at with shot and shell,

    While horse and hero fell,

    45 They that had fought so well

    Came thro’ the jaws of Death,

    Back from the mouth of Hell,

    All that was left of them,

    Left of six hundred.

    50 When can their glory fade?

    O the wild charge they made!

    All the world wonder’d.

    Honour the charge they made!

    Honour the Light Brigade,

    55 Noble six hundred!

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  • 34


    I can remember you, child,

    As I stood in a hot, white

    Room at the window watching

    The people and cars taking

    5 Turn at the traf� c lights.

    I can remember you, our � rst

    Fierce confrontation, the tight

    Red rope of love which we both

    Fought over. It was a square

    10 Environmental blank, disinfected

    Of paintings or toys. I wrote

    All over the walls with my

    Words, coloured the clean squares

    With the wild, tender circles

    15 Of our struggle to become

    Separate. We want, we shouted,

    To be two, to be ourselves.

    Neither won nor lost the struggle

    In the glass tank clouded with feelings

    20 Which changed us both. Still I am � ghting

    You off, as you stand there

    With your straight, strong, long

    Brown hair and your rosy,

    De� ant glare, bringing up

    25 From the heart’s pool that old rope,

    Tightening about my life,

    Trailing love and con� ict,

    As you ask may you skate

    In the dark, for one more hour.

    Gillian Clarke

  • Collection B

    War Photographer

    The reassurance of the frame is � exible

    – you can think that just outside it

    people eat, sleep, love normally

    while I seek out the tragic, the absurd,

    5 to make a subject.

    Or if the picture’s such as lifts the heart

    the � rmness of the edges can convince you

    this is how things are

    – as when at Ascot once

    10 I took a pair of peach, sun-gilded girls

    rolling, silk-crumpled, on the grass

    in champagne giggles

    – as last week, when I followed a small girl

    staggering down some devastated street,

    15 hip thrust out under a baby’s weight.

    She saw me seeing her; my � nger pressed.

    At the corner, the � rst bomb of the morning

    shattered the stones.

    Instinct prevailing, she dropped her burden

    20 and, mouth too small for her dark scream,

    began to run…

    The picture showed the little mother

    the almost-smile. Their caption read

    ‘Even in hell the human spirit

    25 triumphs over all.’

    But hell, like heaven, is untidy,

    its boundaries

    arbitrary as a blood stain on a wall.

    Carole Satyamurti


  • Belfast Confetti

    Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining

    exclamation marks,

    Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the


    Itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst

    of rapid � re…

    I was trying to complete a sentence in my head but it kept


    5 All the alleyways and side streets blocked with stops and


    I know this labyrinth so well - Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman,

    Odessa Street -

    Why can’t I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea

    Street. Dead end again.

    A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-

    talkies. What is

    My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A

    fusillade of question-marks.

    Ciaran Carson


  • Collection B


    The Class Game

    How can you tell what class I’m from?

    I can talk posh like some

    With an ’Olly in me mouth

    Down me nose, wear an ’at not a scarf

    5 With me second-hand clothes.

    So why do you always wince when you hear

    Me say ‘Tara’ to me ‘Ma’ instead of ‘Bye Mummy


    How can you tell what class I’m from?

    ’Cos we live in a corpy, not like some

    10 In a pretty little semi, out Wirral way

    And commute into Liverpool by train each day?

    Or did I drop my unemployment card

    Sitting on your patio (We have a yard)?

    How can you tell what class I’m from?

    15 Have I a label on me head, and another on me bum?

    Or is it because my hands are stained with toil?

    Instead of soft lily-white with perfume and oil?

    Don’t I crook me little � nger when I drink me tea

    Say toilet instead of bog when I want to pee?

    20 Why do you care what class I’m from?

    Does it stick in your gullet like a sour plum?

    Well, mate! A cleaner is me mother

    A docker is me brother

    Bread pudding is wet nelly

    25 And me stomach is me belly

    And I’m proud of the class that I come from.

    Mary Casey

  • Poppies

    Three days before Armistice Sunday

    and poppies had already been placed

    on individual war graves. Before you left,

    I pinned one onto your lapel, crimped petals,

    5 spasms of paper red, disrupting a blockade

    of yellow bias binding around your blazer.

    Sellotape bandaged around my hand,

    I rounded up as many white cat hairs

    as I could, smoothed down your shirt’s

    10 upturned collar, steeled the softening

    of my face. I wanted to graze my nose

    across the tip of your nose, play at

    being Eskimos like we did when

    you were little. I resisted the impulse

    15 to run my � ngers through the gelled

    blackthorns of your hair. All my words

    � attened, rolled, turned into felt,

    slowly melting. I was brave, as I walked

    with you, to the front door, threw

    20 it open, the world over� owing

    like a treasure chest. A split second

    and you were away, intoxicated.

    After you’d gone I went into your bedroom,

    released a song bird from its cage.

    25 Later a single dove � ew from the pear tree,

    and this is where it has led me,

    skirting the church yard walls, my stomach busy

    making tucks, darts, pleats, hat-less, without

    a winter coat or reinforcements of scarf, gloves.

    30 On reaching the top of the hill I traced

    the inscriptions on the war memorial,

    leaned against it like a wishbone.

    The dove pulled freely against the sky,

    an ornamental stitch. I listened, hoping to hear

    35 your playground voice catching on the wind.

    Jane Weir


  • Collection B


    No Problem

    I am not de problem

    But I bear de brunt

    Of silly playground taunts

    An racist stunts,

    5 I am not de problem

    I am born academic

    But dey got me on de run

    Now I am branded athletic

    I am not de problem

    10 If yu give I a chance

    I can teach yu of Timbuktu

    I can do more dan dance,

    I am not de problem

    I greet yu wid a smile

    15 Yu put me in a pigeon hole

    But I am versatile

    These conditions may affect me

    As I get older,

    An I am positively sure

    20 I have no chips on me shoulders,

    Black is not de problem

    Mother country get it right

    An juss fe de record,

    Sum of me best friends are white.

    Benjamin Zephaniah

  • 40

    What Were They Like?

    1) Did the people of Viet Nam

    use lanterns of stone?

    2) Did they hold ceremonies

    to reverence the opening of buds?

    5 3) Were they inclined to quiet laughter?

    4) Did they use bone and ivory,

    jade and silver, for ornament?

    5) Had they an epic poem?

    6) Did they distinguish between speech and singing?

    10 1) Sir, their light hearts turned to stone.

    It is not remembered whether in gardens

    stone lanterns illumined pleasant ways.

    2) Perhaps they gathered once to delight in blossom,

    but after their children were killed

    15 there were no more buds)

    3) Sir, laughter is bitter to the burned mouth.

    4) A dream ago, perhaps. Ornament is for joy.

    All the bones were charred.

    5) It is not remembered. Remember,

    20 most were peasants; their life

    was in rice and bamboo.

    When peaceful clouds were re� ected in the paddies

    and the water buffalo stepped surely along terraces,

    maybe fathers told their sons old tales.

    25 When bombs smashed those mirrors

    there was time only to scream.

    6) There is an echo yet

    of their speech which was like a song.

    It was reported that their singing resembled 

    30 the � ight of moths in moonlight.

    Who can say? It is silent now.

    Denise Levertov

  • 41

    Collection C


    To Autumn (1820) 42John KeatsComposed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802 (1802) 43William WordsworthLondon (1794) 44William BlakeI started Early – Took my Dog (1862) 45Emily Dickinson Where the Picnic was (1914) 46Thomas Hardy Adlestrop (1917) 47Edward ThomasHome Thoughts from Abroad (1845) 48Robert BrowningFirst Flight (1988) 49U. A. Fanthorpe

    Stewart Island (1971) 50Fleur AdcockPresents from my Aunts in Pakistan (2000) 51Moniza AlviHurricane Hits England (1996) 52Grace NicholsNothing’s Changed (1994) 53Tatamkhulu Afrika Postcard from a Travel Snob (1996) 54Sophie HannahIn Romney Marsh (1920) 55John DavidsonAbsence (1958) 56Elizabeth Jennings


  • 42

    To Autumn

    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

    Conspiring with him how to load and bless

    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

    5 To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

    And � ll all fruit with ripeness to the core;

    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

    And still more, later � owers for the bees,

    10 Until they think warm days will never cease,

    For Summer has o’erbrimm’d their clammy cells.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may � nd

    Thee sitting careless on a granary � oor,

    15 Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

    Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

    Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

    Spares the next swath and all its twinèd � owers;

    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

    20 Steady thy laden head across a brook;

    Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

    Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Aye, where are they?

    Think not of them, — thou hast thy music too,

    25 While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

    Among the river sallows, borne aloft

    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

    30 And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

    Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft

    The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;

    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

    John Keats


  • Collection C


    Composed upon Westminster Bridge,September 3, 1802

    Earth has not anything to show more fair:

    Dull would he be of soul who could pass by

    A sight so touching in its majesty;

    This City now doth, like a garment, wear

    5 The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,

    Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie

    Open unto the � elds, and to the sky;

    All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

    Never did sun more beautifully steep

    10 In his � rst splendour, valley, rock, or hill;

    Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!

    The river glideth at his own sweet will:

    Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;

    And all that mighty heart is lying still!

    William Wordsworth

  • 44


    I wander thro’ each charter’d street

    Near where the charter’d Thames does � ow,

    And mark in every face I meet

    Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

    5 In every cry of every Man,

    In every Infant’s cry of fear,

    In every voice, in every ban,

    The mind-forg’d manacles I hear:

    How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry

    10 Every black’ning Church appalls,

    And the hapless Soldier’s sigh

    Runs in blood down Palace walls;

    But most thro’ midnight streets I hear

    How the youthful Harlot’s curse

    15 Blasts the new-born Infant’s tear,

    And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.

    William Blake

  • Collection C


    I started Early – Took my Dog

    I started Early – Took my Dog –

    And visited the Sea –

    The Mermaids in the Basement

    Came out to look at me –

    5 And Frigates – in the Upper Floor

    Extended Hempen Hands –

    Presuming Me to be a Mouse –

    Aground – upon the Sands –

    But no Man moved Me – till the Tide

    10 Went past my simple Shoe –

    And past my Apron – and my Belt

    And past my Bodice – too –

    And made as He would eat me up –

    As wholly as a Dew

    15 Upon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –

    And then – I started – too –

    And He – He followed – close behind –

    I felt his Silver Heel

    Upon my Ankle – Then my Shoes

    20 Would over� ow with Pearl –

    Until We met the Solid Town –

    No One He seemed to know –

    And bowing – with a Mighty look –

    At me – The Sea withdrew –

    Emily Dickinson


  • 46

    Where the Picnic was

    Where we made the � re

    In the summer time

    Of branch and briar

    On the hill to the sea,

    5 I slowly climb

    Through winter mire,

    And scan and trace

    The forsaken place

    Quite readily.

    10 Now a cold wind blows,

    And the grass is grey,

    But the spot still shows

    As a burnt circle – aye,

    And stick-ends, charred,

    15 Still strew the sward

    Whereon I stand,

    Last relic of the band

    Who came that day!

    Yes, I am here

    20 Just as last year,

    And the sea breathes brine

    From its strange straight line

    Up hither, the same

    As when we four came.

    25 – But two have wandered far

    From this grassy rise

    Into urban roar

    Where no picnics are,

    And one – has shut her eyes

    30 For evermore.

    Thomas Hardy

  • Collection C



    Yes. I remember Adlestrop—

    The name, because one afternoon

    Of heat the express-train drew up there

    Unwontedly. It was late June.

    5 The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.

    No one left and no one came

    On the bare platform. What I saw

    Was Adlestrop—only the name

    And willows, willow-herb, and grass,

    10 And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,

    No whit less still and lonely fair

    Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

    And for that minute a blackbird sang

    Close by, and round him, mistier,

    15 Farther and farther, all the birds

    Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

    Edward Thomas

  • 4848

    Home Thoughts from Abroad

    Oh, to be in England

    Now that April’s there,

    And whoever wakes in England

    Sees, some morning, unaware,

    5 That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf

    Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,

    While the chaf� nch sings on the orchard bough

    In England—now!

    And after April, when May follows,

    10 And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!

    Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

    Leans to the � eld and scatters on the clover

    Blossoms and dewdrops—at the bent spray’s edge—

    That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,

    15 Lest you should think he never could recapture

    The � rst � ne careless rapture!

    And though the � elds look rough with hoary dew

    All will be gay when noontide wakes anew

    The buttercups, the little children’s dower

    20 —Far brighter than this gaudy melon-� ower!

    Robert Browning


  • Collection C


    First Flight

    Plane moves. I don’t like the feel of it.

    In a car I’d suspect low tyre pressure.

    A sudden swiftness, earth slithers

    Off at an angle. The experienced solidly

    5 This is rather a short hop for me

    Read Guardians, discuss secretaries,

    Business lunches. I crane for the last of dear

    I’m doing it just to say I’ve done it

    Familiar England, motorways, reservoir,

    10 Building sites. Nimble tiny-disc, a sun

    Tell us when we get to water

    Runs up the porthole and vanishes.

    Under us the broad meringue kingdom

    The next lot of water’ll be the Med

    15 Of cumulus, bearing the crinkled tangerine stain

    That light spreads on an evening sea at home.

    You don’t need an overcoat, but

    It’s the sort of place where you need

    A pullover. Know what I mean?

    20 We have come too high for history.

    Where we are now deals only with tomorrow,

    Confounds the forecasters, dismisses clocks.

    My last trip was Beijing. Know where that is?

    Beijing. Peking, you’d say. Three weeks there, I was.

    25 Peking is wrong. If you’ve been there

    You call it Beijing, like me. Go on, say it.

    Mackerel wigs dispense the justice of air.

    At this height nothing lives. Too cold. Too near the sun.

    U. A. Fanthorpe

  • 50

    Stewart Island

    ‘But look at all this beauty’

    said the hotel manager’s wife

    when asked how she could bear to

    live there. True: there was a � ne bay,

    5 all hills and atmosphere; white

    sand, and bush down to the sea’s edge;

    oyster-boats, too, and Maori

    � shermen with Scottish names (she

    ran off with one that autumn).

    10 As for me, I walked on the beach;

    it was too cold to swim. My

    seven-year-old collected shells

    and was bitten by sand� ies;

    my four-year-old paddled, until

    15 a mad seagull jetted down

    to jab its claws and beak into

    his head. I had already

    decided to leave the country.

    Fleur Adcock

  • Collection C


    Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan

    They sent me a salwar kameez


    and another

    glistening like an orange split open,

    5 embossed slippers, gold and black

    points curling.

    Candy-striped glass bangles

    snapped, drew blood.

    Like at school, fashions changed

    10 in Pakistan –

    the salwar bottoms were broad and stiff,

    then narrow.

    My aunts chose an apple-green sari,


    15 for my teens.

    I tried each satin-silken top –

    was alien in the sitting-room.

    I could never be as lovely

    as those clothes –

    20 I longed

    for denim and corduroy.

    My costume clung to me

    and I was a� ame,

    I couldn’t rise up out of its � re,

    25 half-English,

    unlike Aunt Jamila.

    I wanted my parents’ camel-skin lamp –

    switching it on in my bedroom,

    to consider the cruelty

    30 and the transformation

    from camel to shade,

    marvel at the colours

    like stained glass.

    My mother cherished her jewellery –

    35 Indian gold, dangling, � ligree.

    But it was stolen from our car.

    The presents were radiant in my wardrobe.

    My aunts requested cardigans

    from Marks and Spencers.

    40 My salwar kameez

    didn’t impress the schoolfriend

    who sat on my bed, asked to see

    my weekend clothes.

    But often I admired the mirror-work,

    45 tried to glimpse myself

    in the miniature

    glass circles, recall the story

    how the three of us

    sailed to England.

    50 Prickly heat had me screaming on the way.

    I ended up in a cot

    in my English grandmother’s dining-room,

    found myself alone,

    playing with a tin boat.

    55 I pictured my birthplace

    from � fties’ photographs.

    When I was older

    there was con� ict, a fractured land

    throbbing through newsprint.

    60 Sometimes I saw Lahore –

    my aunts in shaded rooms,

    screened from male visitors,

    sorting presents,

    wrapping them in tissue.

    65 Or there were beggars, sweeper-girls

    and I was there –

    of no � xed nationality,

    staring through fretwork

    at the Shalimar Gardens.

    Moniza Alvi

  • Hurricane Hits England, by Grace Nichols This poem is unavailable online due to copyright restrictions. For a full version of this poem, please refer to your printed copy of your Pearson Edexcel GCSE English Literature Poetry Anthology.

  • Collection C


    Nothing’s Changed

    Small round hard stones click

    under my heels,

    seeding grasses thrust

    bearded seeds

    5 into trouser cuffs, cans,

    trodden on, crunch

    in tall, purple-� owering,

    amiable weeds.

    District Six.

    10 No board says it is:

    but my feet know,

    and my hands,

    and the skin about my bones,

    and the soft labouring of my lungs,

    15 and the hot, white, inwards turning

    anger of my eyes.

    Brash with glass,

    name � aring like a � ag,

    it squats

    20 in the grass and weeds,

    incipient Port Jackson trees:

    new, up-market, haute cuisine,

    guard at the gatepost,

    whites only inn.

    25 No sign says it is:

    but we know where we belong.

    I press my nose

    to the clear panes, know,

    before I see them, there will be

    30 crushed ice white glass,

    linen falls,

    the single rose.

    Down the road,

    working man’s cafe sells

    35 bunny chows.

    Take it with you, eat

    it at a plastic table’s top,

    wipe your � ngers on your jeans,

    spit a little on the � oor:

    40 it’s in the bone.

    I back from the glass,

    boy again,

    leaving small mean O

    of small mean mouth.

    45 Hands burn

    for a stone, a bomb,

    to shiver down the glass.

    Nothing’s changed.

    Tatamkhulu Afrika

  • 5454

    Postcard from a Travel Snob

    I do not wish that anyone were here.

    This place is not a holiday resort

    with karaoke nights and pints of beer

    for drunken tourist types – perish the thought.

    5 This is a peaceful place, untouched by man –

    not like your seaside-town-consumer-hell.

    I’m sleeping in a local farmer’s van –

    it’s great. There’s not a guest house or hotel

    within a hundred miles. Nobody speaks

    10 English (apart from me, and rest assured,

    I’m not your sun-and-sangria-two-weeks-


    When you’re as multi-cultural as me,

    your friends become wine connoisseurs, not drunks.

    15 I’m not a British tourist in the sea;

    I am an anthropologist in trunks.

    Sophie Hannah


  • Collection C


    In Romney Marsh

    As I went down to Dymchurch Wall,

    I heard the South sing o’er the land

    I saw the yellow sunlight fall

    On knolls where Norman churches stand.

    5 And ringing shrilly, taut and lithe,

    Within the wind a core of sound,

    The wire from Romney town to Hythe

    Along its airy journey wound.

    A veil of purple vapour � owed

    10 And trailed its fringe along the Straits;

    The upper air like sapphire glowed:

    And roses � lled Heaven’s central gates.

    Masts in the of� ng wagged their tops;

    The swinging waves pealed on the shore;

    15 The saffron beach, all diamond drops

    And beads of surge, prolonged the roar.

    As I came up from Dymchurch Wall,

    I saw above the Downs’ low crest

    The crimson brands of sunset fall,

    20 Flicker and fade from out the West.

    Night sank: like � akes of silver � re

    The stars in one great shower came down;

    Shrill blew the wind; and shrill the wire

    Rang out from Hythe to Romney town.

    25 The darkly shining salt sea drops

    Streamed as the waves clashed on the shore;

    The beach, with all its organ stops

    Pealing again, prolonged the roar.

    John Davidson


  • 5656


    I visited the place where we last met.

    Nothing was changed, the gardens were well-tended,

    The fountains sprayed their usual steady jet;

    There was no sign that anything had ended

    5 And nothing to instruct me to forget.

    The thoughtless birds that shook out of the trees,

    Singing an ecstasy I could not share,

    Played cunning in my thoughts. Surely in these

    Pleasures there could not be a pain to bear

    10 Or any discord shake the level breeze.

    It was because the place was just the same

    That made your absence seem a savage force,

    For under all the gentleness there came

    An earthquake tremor: fountain, birds and grass

    15 Were shaken by my thinking of your name.

    Elizabeth Jennings

  • Acknowledgements

    We are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce copyright material:

    Poetry on page 14 “1st Date: She and 1st date: He” by Wendy Cope from Family Values, Faber and Faber, 2012. Reprinted by permission of United Agents on behalf of Wendy Cope; Poetry on page 15 “Valentine” by Carol Ann Duffy from Mean Time, Carcanet, 1993, copyright © Carol Ann Duffy 1993. Reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London, W11 1JN; Poetry on page 16 “One Flesh” by Elizabeth Jennings from New Collected Poems, Carcanet, 2002. Reproduced by permission of David Higham Associates; Lyrics on page 17 “i wanna be yours” written by John Cooper Clarke and Alex Turner, copyright © 2013. Published by EMI Songs Ltd and EMI Music Publishing Ltd; Poetry on page 18 “Love’s Dog” by Jen Hadfield from Nigh-No-Place, Bloodaxe Books, 2008. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 19 “Nettles” by Vernon Scannell from The Very Best of Vernon Scannell, Pan Macmillan, 2001. Reproduced by The Estate of Vernon Scannell; Poetry on page 20 “The Manhunt (Laura’s Poem)” by Simon Armitage from The Not Dead, Pomona Press, 2008. Reproduced by permission of Pomona; Poetry on page 21 “My Father Would Not Show Us” by Ingrid de Kok from Seasonal Fires: New and Selected Poems, Umuzi Press, 2006. Reproduced with kind permission of Ingrid de Kok; Poetry on page 29 “Half-caste” by John Agard, copyright © 1996 by John Agard. Reproduced by kind permission of John Agard c/o Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency Ltd; Poetry on page 34 “Catrin” by Gillian Clarke from Collected Poems, Carcanet Press Ltd, 1997. Reproduced by permission of Carcanet Press Ltd; Poetry on page 35 “War Photographer” by Carole Satyamurti from Stitching the Dark: New & Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 36 “Belfast Confetti” by Ciaran Carson from Collected Poems, 2008. Reproduced by kind permission of the author, The Gallery Press, Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland and Wake Forest University Press; Poetry on page 37 “The Class Game” by Mary Casey from I Wouldn’t Thank You for a Valentine: Poems for Young Feminists, Henry Holt and Co. Inc., ed Carol Ann Duffy, 1997; Poetry on page 38 “Poppies” by Jane Weir from The Way I Dressed During The Revolution, Templar Poetry, 2005. Reproduced by permission of Templar Poetry; Poetry on page 39 “No Problem” by Benjamin Zephaniah from Propa Propaganda, Bloodaxe Books, 1996. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 40 “What Were They Like?” by Denise Levertov from New Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books, 2003. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 49 “First Flight” by U. A. Fanthorpe from New and Collected Poems, Enitharmon Press, 2010. Reproduced by kind permission of Dr. R. V. Bailey; Poetry on page 50 “Stewart Island” by Fleur Adcock from Poems 1960-2000, Bloodaxe Books, 2000. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 51 “Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan” by Moniza Alvi from Split World: Poems 1990-2005, Bloodaxe Books, 2008. Reproduced by permission of Bloodaxe Books; Poetry on page 52 “Hurricane Hits England” by Grace Nichols from I Have Crossed an Ocean, Bloodaxe Books, copyright © Grace Nichols, 2010. Reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London on behalf of Grace Nichols; Poetry on page 53 “Nothing’s Changed” by Tatamkhulu Afrika from Maqabane, Mayibuye Books, p.33, copyright © 1994, Tatamkhulu Afrika. Reprinted by permission of the Proprietor, the National English Literary Museum South Africa, c/o Blake Friedmann Literary Agency Ltd; Poetry on page 54 “Postcard from a Travel Snob” by Sophie Hannah from Hotels like Houses, Carcanet, 1996. Reproduced by permission of Carcanet Press Ltd; and Poetry on page 56 “Absence” by Elizabeth Jennings from New Collected Poems, Carcanet, 2002. Reproduced by permission of David Higham Associates.

    Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and we apologise in advance for any unintentional omissions. We would be pleased to insert the appropriate acknowledgement in any subsequent edition of this publication.

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    Poetry Anthology

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